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There have been a lot of iOS updates this year and Apple has surprised us continually, with major new features late in the cycle and smaller updates all through the year.
But this is something else. It seems that Apple is working on iOS 14.8. That’s unprecedented.
I mean, even iOS 14.7 was unusual. While it’s true that there was a .7 release to iOS 13, iOS 13.7 only landed in September, after iOS 14 had already arrived—it was there with one purpose only: to add contact tracking for Covid, so not the same thing at all.
Then there was iOS 14.7.1, which was a small update with one purpose only.
But now, it seems, Apple is working on something else. While it might be expected that something like iOS 14.7.2 could come along to tidy up any unexpected issues with 14.7.1, this is something else.
It’s a whole digit up, iOS 14.8, at a time when iOS 15, already up to its fifth release to developers, is only a matter of a few weeks away. There has never been a .8 update before.
The information comes from mentions in Xcode, spotted by Twitter users, indicating the software is coming.
So, why is it happening and what does it mean?
One of the changes that Apple has introduced is a new choice. Users can update to the whole new software, iOS 15, or can choose to stick on iOS 14 but, crucially, still avail themselves of software updates relating to security. This is a brilliant change, because it means that users can avoid the complications that come with adopting a new system until they’re ready but still have complete security.
So, higher release numbers are inevitable, and may go on for some weeks or months after iOS 15 is live.
As for what it means, well, we’ll have to wait and see Although security will be front-and-center, I really don’t rule out the possibility that new features will sneak in as well. After all, since every single iPhone that can run iOS 14 can run iOS 15 as well, there’s no reason for Apple to restrict features just to the new software.